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Mr. Smarty Plants - Leguminous deer-resistant groundcover

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Monday - August 25, 2008

From: Leander, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Deer Resistant
Title: Leguminous deer-resistant groundcover
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Please help me identify a deer-resistant leguminous ground cover native to Central Texas to serve as a guard plant in edible-plant groupings.

ANSWER:

You will find a list of Deer Resistant native plants, many of which are native to Central Texas, on our Recommended Species page. The following leguminous (Family Fabaceae) plants grow in Travis and Williamson Counties and could qualify as groundcovers when they are present. Most of them, however, do not persist after they have bloomed and set seed. If you want a persistent deer-resistant member of the Family Fabaceae to surround your edible plants, perhaps you could ring it with small Sophora secundiflora (Texas mountain-laurel) plants.

Dalea aurea (golden prairie clover)

Dalea frutescens (black prairie clover)

Lupinus texensis (Texas bluebonnet)

Senna lindheimeriana (velvet leaf senna)

Senna roemeriana (twoleaf senna)

There are many other non-leguminous choices. For example, deer rarely eat members of the Family Lamiaceae (mint family) and there are several attractive grasses as well that deer do not browse. Here are a few suggestions:

Salvia coccinea (blood sage)

Salvia farinacea (mealycup sage)

Scutellaria wrightii (Wright's skullcap)

Chasmanthium latifolium (Inland sea oats)

Elymus canadensis (Canada wildrye)

Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem)

 

From the Image Gallery


Texas mountain laurel
Sophora secundiflora

Golden dalea
Dalea aurea

Black dalea
Dalea frutescens

Texas bluebonnet
Lupinus texensis

Lindheimer's senna
Senna lindheimeriana

Twoleaf senna
Senna roemeriana

Scarlet sage
Salvia coccinea

Mealy blue sage
Salvia farinacea

Wright's skullcap
Scutellaria wrightii

Inland sea oats
Chasmanthium latifolium

Canada wild rye
Elymus canadensis

Little bluestem
Schizachyrium scoparium

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